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Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear Threats’

Putin Orders Partial Mobilization, Issues Nuclear Threat to West

Posted by M. C. on September 23, 2022

The Russian leader expressed support for referendums and said a peace deal was possible earlier in the war but was sabotaged by the West

Don’t worry. Our cracked team in Washington is all over this.

by Dave DeCamp

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a partial mobilization that will call up 300,000 reservists and warned Western countries that Moscow would use nuclear weapons to defend its territory.

The move marks Putin’s biggest escalation of his war in Ukraine since launching the invasion on February 24, although he is still framing the war as a “special military operation.”

“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will without doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people — this is not a bluff,” Putin said in a televised address.

“The citizens of Russia can rest assured that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence, and freedom will be defended — I repeat — by all the systems available to us. Those who are using nuclear blackmail against us should know that the weathervane can turn around,” he said.

Putin didn’t specify the number of reservists that will be activated under the partial mobilization, but the Kremlin later clarified it will be 300,000, which Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu recommended. Putin said Russia will call up “Only those citizens who are currently in the reserve and primarily those who served in the army and have particular military specialties.”

The Russian leader expressed support for referendums on joining Russia that will be held in each area of Russian-controlled Ukraine from September 23-27, which were announced on Tuesday. Referendums will be held in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk republics in the Donbas region, and in the oblasts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

“I would like to emphasize that we will do everything necessary to create safe conditions for these referendums so that people can express their will. And we will support the choice of future made by the majority of people in the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics and the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions,” Putin said.

Putin made clear that he blames the US and its allies for the current situation and said a peace deal was possible earlier in the war after Russian and Ukrainian negotiators held talks in Istanbul. He said that he was making the details of the peace talks public for the first time.

“After the start of the special military operation, in particular after the Istanbul talks, Kyiv representatives voiced quite a positive response to our proposals. These proposals concerned above all, ensuring Russia’s security and interests,” he said.

Reports in Western media and Ukrainian media have also said that a deal was close after the Istanbul talks, which were held at the end of March. But according to a report from Ukrainska Pravda, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Kyiv in April and told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that even if he was ready to sign a deal with Putin, the collective West was not.

“A peaceful settlement obviously did not suit the West, which is why, after certain compromises were coordinated, Kyiv was actually ordered to wreck all these agreements,” Putin said.

The Russian leader said that Washington, London, and Brussels were now “openly encouraging Kyiv to move the hostilities to our territory.” After Ukraine launched its successful counteroffensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region, shelling was reported in Belgorod, the Russian region that borders the area.

Putin said that the focus will remain on “liberating” the Donbas region. Russia and Russian-backed forces in the region currently control virtually all of the Luhansk oblast, but Ukraine still controls a portion of Donetsk.

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There’s One Way to Stop Trump From Acting on Nuclear Threats – Truthdig

Posted by M. C. on August 2, 2019

Nuclear modernization, adjustable yield nukes, Iran invasion…what did the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee think the plan was?

They are just figuring this out? I don’t think so.

This is more anti-Trump. At least anti-Trump out trumps nuclear war.

Just imagine if the war machine (Hillary) won.

This government runs on war.

Scott Ritter

On July 22, during a meeting at the White House with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Trump alluded to military plans in which the U.S. could “win the war” in Afghanistan in a matter of days. “I could win that war in a week, I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,” Trump said. “Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth.”

Trump did not explicitly say what weapons would be used to achieve this outcome. However, his comments implicitly invoked the use of nuclear weapons, the only military resource in the U.S. arsenal capable of killing that many people in such a short time. While it is highly unlikely President Trump reviewed any such plans regarding Afghanistan (he has been known to lie on occasion), the fact that he chose to mention a scenario that invoked a massive U.S. nuclear strike sent a signal to Afghanistan’s neighbor, Iran, that when it comes to resolving the ongoing crisis over Iran’s nuclear program, all options were, indeed, on the table.

Americans have become accustomed to presidents capable of rationally managing the awesome power of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, dating back to President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. For two weeks in October 1962, the world was on the verge of global nuclear annihilation. President Kennedy was under pressure from the Pentagon to use military force to prevent the Soviet Union from installing nuclear-armed medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles on the island that would threaten much of the southern and eastern United States. Nuclear war was ultimately averted; Kennedy disregarded the advice of the military chiefs, opting instead to rely upon diplomacy.

One of the factors that weighed on Kennedy was the consequences of a nuclear conflict. In July 1961, Kennedy had been briefed for the first time on the U.S. nuclear war plan. After hearing an estimated 48 to 71 million people in the U.S. would be “killed outright,” with another 67 million in Russia and 76 million in China likewise perishing, Kennedy said to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, “And we call ourselves the human race.” That moral rejection of nuclear mass murder became the standard that had guided successive presidents when it came to nuclear conflict.

Until Donald Trump.

Trump’s casual reference to murdering 10 million Afghans wasn’t the first time he had threatened to use nuclear weapons in a precipitous fashion. In August 2017, while responding to statements made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump declared that “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

On Nov. 14, 2017, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee did something it hadn’t done in 41 years—addressed the authority to use nuclear weapons. In convening that hearing, the Republican chairman, Sen. Bob Corker, observed, “Making the decision to go to war of any sort is a heavy responsibility for our nation’s elected leaders, and the decision to use nuclear weapons is the most consequential of all.” His Democratic counterpart, Sen. Ben Cardin, added in his opening remarks, “Given today’s challenges, we need to revisit this question on whether a single individual should have the sole and unchecked authority to launch a nuclear attack under all circumstances, including the right to use it as a first strike.”

But the event that prompted the U.S. Senate to convene such a rare hearing wasn’t casual curiosity about U.S. nuclear launch authority, but rather the words of President Trump regarding North Korea. Cardin noted in his opening remarks that, in reference to Trump’s statement, “many interpret that to mean that the president is actively considering the use of nuclear weapons in order to deal with the threat of North Korea. That is frightening.”…

Two things emerge from this narrative. First and foremost, the Senate was wrong in believing that international law provided a basis for internal checks and balances within the U.S. military that could justify opposition to a nuclear strike against Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities. Second, the Senate based its assessment of the role played by the policy enshrined in the Nuclear Posture Review on a document from 2010 that has since been superseded. By broadening the “extreme circumstances” under which the use of nuclear weapons could be justified, the 2018 NPR opened the door for President Trump to follow through with his threat of “obliteration.” And the Senate let it happen.

President Trump’s offhand threat to murder 10 million Afghans should serve as a wake-up call for those in the U.S. Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, who are concerned about the future not only of the United States, but all humanity. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee should reconvene its hearing on the authority to use nuclear weapons and rectify its past mistakes by putting forward legislation that precludes any first use of nuclear weapons by the United States—period. While nuclear weapons continue to exist in the world, there is a role to be played by a viable nuclear enterprise that serves as a deterrent against any nation using its nuclear arsenal in support of aggression. There is also a role for these nations to recognize the suicidal futility inherent in any use of nuclear weapons.

It is intolerable for the United States to seek to leverage its nuclear arsenal for any purpose other than to deter the use of nuclear weapons. There is simply no non-nuclear threat that can inflict enough damage to provide reciprocal cover for the use of nuclear weapons in retaliation. By embracing a nuclear employment doctrine that permits the preemptive use of nuclear weapons in a non-nuclear scenario, the United States legitimizes the possession of these weapons in a way that is unacceptable in a world that supposedly embraces the tenets of nuclear nonproliferation. It is the role of Congress to correct flawed policy, and this role can best be implemented by modifying the existing war powers authorities granted the resident as commander in chief to exclude in perpetuity the ability to use nuclear weapons in any situation other than responding to a nuclear attack.

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